Full Review: It's like a big rock consert in the palm of your hand.
The Bad: Only 25 songs in the game, can take some getting use to control wize, periphrial pops out of GBA slot pretty easily.
Are you ready to rawk? Well, now you can even on the go with Guitar Hero On Tour for the Nintendo DS! It seems like Activision is trying to milk their popular music game for whatever it can get them by putting it on as many platforms as possable, even handhelds. Fortunately, this one works quite well and turns out to be another solid addition to the franchise.
The first big thing about On Tour is the control scheme. Obviously, this time you don't have a big Guitar controller to rock out on, so instead you have to rely on a fret button periphrial and the DS touch screen and microphone. Fortunately, this does work pretty well, but it can be tough to get use to at least at first. In my first experiences, if you play more than three songs in a row, you hand holding the DS (left if you are right handed) will begin to cramp up, so like the game even says, it's a good idea to take frequent breaks while playing. They did take advantage of the capabilities of the DS with the controls though, because the touch screen whammy bar and voice activated star power are nice touches. It takes a bit of getting use to strumming by using your pick stylus (included in the package) to strum on the touch screen guitar, but once you get use to the new controls, it's a lot of fun.
Now, at first you may wonder how good the setlist for the portable version could be considering that it's a DS game? Well, the setlist is actually quite impressive. The vast majority of the songs included are master recordings and they all sound great even when played through the DS's speakers. There are several songs ripped from Guitar Hero 3's setlist ("Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Rock and Roll All Nite" just to name a few) and even a couple are ripped from Rock Band ("All The Small Things" and "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"), but there are quite a few songs that aren't on any other music game similar to this one. My favorites are probably "What I Want" by Daughtry, "All Star" by Smash Mouth and "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield. There are also offerings by Maroon 5, Incubus and Ozzy Osbourne which all play and sound great. The main downside of the setlist is that it is only 25 songs in length, which is easily beatable in 4 hours or so, but you can bet Activision will release additional song packs for the DS version sometime down the road.
I only had a few problems with the whole thing. First, the fret button periphrial can easily pop out of the GBA slot even when you try not to. When that does happen, you have to restart your system, no matter what you were doing when it happened, which is annoying. The package as a whole is $50, which may seem like a lot because of the short setlist, but if you are a fan of the series, it's worth the cost of admission.
Overall, Guitar Hero On Tour is another solid addition to the popular series and great to have around if you get the sudden urge to rock, no matter where you are.
Gameplay: New controls take some getting use to, but once you figure them out, it's a blast.
Graphics: Suprisingly solid for the DS.
Sound: A solid setlist with great sound quality.
Value: At $50 for the bundle, the price may seem steep, but like the other Guitar Hero bundles, this one is definately worth it.
Final Thoughts: It's time to rawk!